Jonathan Ortmans

Building One Global Entrepreneurial Ecosystem

Month: October 2011

The ‘Global’ in Global Entrepreneurship Week

In two weeks, Global Entrepreneurship Week kicks off with more than 40,000 events spread out over a seven day period in 123 countries. At competitions like Startup Open for the most promising new startups in 60 countries, to tournaments for cleantech ideas, at stadiums where entrepreneurship will meet music and sports, from heads of state to high school competitions, Global Entrepreneurship Week has become a movement for the next generation of startups and entrepreneurs inspired by the possibility of human endeavor for the benefit of all.

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Malaysia’s Progress with Startups

Malaysia transformed itself from a producer of raw materials in the 1970s into an upper-middle income country with a multi-sector economy by the late 1990s. The 1997 crisis significantly challenged this technology-exporting country, but it has since successfully sparked two main sources of economic resilience—foreign investment and new firm creation. To my surprise, Malaysian entrepreneurs I spoke with recently gave a great deal of credit to, of all actors on the stage, their government. Did government really do something right?

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Saudi Spirit Serious About Startups

The Saudi Arabian Monetary Agency (SAMA) recently released data indicating that domestic credit to the private sector in Saudi Arabia recorded one of their highest growth rates since the global fiscal crisis. That the Gulf Kingdom’s twelve (12) commercial banks are easing credit curbs is good news for entrepreneurship promoters in the country and leaders in the Kingdom seem ready to provide the fuel to ignite a new wave of startups.

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Serbia’s Faith in its Young Entrepreneurs

Like so many nations that have recently gone through major restructuring over the past 10 years, Serbia is looking to its young entrepreneurial minds to shape a new nation as it marches toward economic recovery. However, while Serbia has embarked upon several structural reforms—especially in the banking sector and in employment regulations—it has yet to successfully tackle corruption, bureaucracy and a weak judicial system. These are holding back its economic potential.

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Learning from Startup Ecosystems

It is true that governments cannot be ignored by entrepreneurs—they set the rules and incentives. But it should not be surprising that vibrant entrepreneurs typically show, at best, nonchalance toward government. Most government agencies across the globe remain inefficient and cumbersome—especially when you compare even a well-funded government program to a collection of bootstrapping startups.

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